As organizations seek to become more environmentally responsible, there has been much hoopla over the concept of “green” IT, which author San Murugesan defines as “the study and practice of designing, manufacturing, using, and disposing of computers, servers, and associated subsystems—such as monitors, printers, storage devices, and networking and communications systems — efficiently and effectively with minimal or no impact on the environment.”
Analyst firm Gartner estimates that more than one-third of IT organizations currently have one or more environmental factors in their top buying criteria for IT-related goods.
And, many experts believe that one of the best ways for companies to make their IT operations more “green” is to move their applications from an on-site deployment model, to a SaaS one.
What makes SaaS so environmentally-friendly? It’s all about the servers. The average corporate server has a utilization rate of just 5 to 15%, according to studies conducted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). And, with the typical server sucking up an average of 450 watts of power, that’s an awful lot of wasted energy consumed.
But SaaS vendors have a reputation for using their assets more productively. Because they are concerned with the cost-efficiency of their operating model, they must maintain much higher server utilization rates in order to be profitable. Because of this, they are also far more likely to take advantage of energy-saving hardware components, and to follow best practices in environmentally-friendly IT management.
This combination not only minimizes energy waste by eliminating the need to power up unused server capacity, it reduced the emission of toxic carbon.
Further “green” benefits can be achieved by SaaS vendors through the use of modern multi-tenant architectures. By putting multiple clients on the same server, and having them share core application components, multi-tenant infrastructures can further increase utilization rates and minimize energy consumption.
The bottom line? There are studies that demonstrate that SaaS applications can provide a 20-to-1 savings in electrical power use over on-premise systems.
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